Using their SolarMill technology, WindStream Technologies has revealed what they claim is the world's largest wind/solar hybrid array on the roof of an office building in Kingston, Jamaica.
Windstream Technologies, who design and build wind and solar equipment, state that their newest array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually. The company, who primarily targets urban centers, is part of a growing trend to utilize urban space to offset energy costs.
By combining solar panels with vertical axis wind turbines, their SolarMill is able to generate electricity regardless of weather conditions (it can still generate electricity at night). With the SolarMill’s dual-power generating means, Windstream says it will will get a return on its Jamaican investment within four years, and will be able to generate roughly US $2 million in savings over the array’s 25-year lifespan.
The array is part of Jamaica Public Service’s (Jamaica’s sole energy provider) continuing plan to make the ability to produce renewable energy more widely available. The energy can either be used and stored locally at the site of generation, or can be fed back into the grid to power other homes and businesses.
With its home office based in the United States, WindStream has projects/distribution in India, Turkey, Ghana, Liberia, New Zeland, and Tanzania. Hopefully this means we’ll see more of their SolarMill hybrid arrays popping up on rooftops around the world. This isn’t the first rooftop sized power array we’ve seen either, so competition in the market will inevitably drive prices down for consumers. After all, the sooner the world is fueled by completely clean energy, the better.
While a naysayer could claim that Jamaica used 4193000000 kWh in 2011, and that the country would need roughly 40,000 of these arrays to meet their energy needs, one only needs a roof to build an array.